Ray Howson and Ken Beitz.
Ray Howson and Ken Beitz.

How you can join the bid to save a piece of Roma history

STANDING outside the old Roma butter factory, Ken Beitz and Ray Howson look up at the building they have spent countless hours restoring with a sense of pride, now they want you to join their bid to protect and save the town’s history.

Ray Howson and Ken Beitz outside The Roma Co-Operative Dairy Association Limited.
Ray Howson and Ken Beitz outside The Roma Co-Operative Dairy Association Limited.

Ken Beitz, a semi-retired builder and Ray Howson, who dabbles in several community organisations, had a united vision when they formed Roma Historical Precincts to breathe new life into the Roma Co-Operative Dairy Association Limited and they want locals to join their effort.
Locals are encouraged to donate money ahead of the Meadowbank Museum Auction on October 24, to help the organisation bid on historical machinery to display at the butter factory.

“Years ago, council had this (butter factory) on the market for sale and people may have purchased it and demolished the whole building,” Mr Howson said.

“Once we lose these things in the community, we’d lose them forever.

“So that’s why we became involved in this and now it’s evolved.

“It will be a really beneficial to tourism in the region and not to just Roma but the whole region.”

They have already raised about $4000 but both men are unsure how much certain items will even sell for.

“We’d really like a carriage and a milk cart,” Mr Beitz said.

“And something that doesn’t really have much to do with the butter factory but an old Rolly Howard – a four-wheel carriage.

“I remember him going past the state school when I was in the late 1950s and he was this old fella plotting along and his main job was to collect bottles but he’d pick up people and either take them to school or pick up women and take them home from the shops.

“And a lot of people say that’s the real part of Roma’s history.

“And equally, a lot of people are always telling us we need to maintain this site and ensure it stays alive.”

They’re asking people of the Maranoa district if they would be interested in donating towards the purchase of some of the district’s historical items.

If they are unable to purchase anything this month, they will save the money until the auction next year.

They’re thankful that Don Tite and family had the foresight to start collecting memorabilia from the region back in the 1960s.

If wanting to donate, contact either Ken Beitz on 0429 649 150 or Ray Howson on 0499 996 449 or email romahistoricalpi@gmail.com


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